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Countdown With Keith Olbermann

News/Business. Interviews with top newsmakers; countdown of the day's top news stories.

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Virginia 14, Rupert Murdoch 10, America 9, U.s. 8, Sarah Palin 8, Ronald Reagan 4, Keith 4, United States 4, Us 4, Glenn Beck 3, Sean Hannity 3, Iraq 3, Jack Rice 3, California 3, Siemens 3, Msha 3, Naacp 2, Beck 2, Rudy 2, Anwar Al Awlaki 2,
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  MSNBC    Countdown With Keith Olbermann    News/Business. Interviews with top  
   newsmakers; countdown of the day's top news stories.  

    April 8, 2010
    1:00 - 2:00am EDT  

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americans here today? >> maybe rupert's not evil. maybe rupert's just stupid. all the news and commentary now on "countdown." good evening from new york. president obama has reportedly authorized the death penalty for an american citizen who has not been convicted of any crime, the evidence against whom has yet to see the light of day, who denies his guilt and has not been given the due process guaranteed by the constitution of the united states. it is a power not even claimed by the bush/cheney administration, which even the most conservative supreme court
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justice rejected. specifics of a story that's been simmering for months now, the white house has authorized u.s. counterterrorism operatives to kill anwar al awlaki, muslim cleric and american citizen born in las cruces irks new mexico, in 1971. even if he is found far away from any combat zone. they say al awlaki, thought to be hiding in yemen, has shifted from endorsing violence against the u.s. to actually participating in anti-american plots. as part of the group al qaeda in the arabian pen listen in a. he was freed for lack of evidence but also been linked to the alleged would-be christmas day bomber. and changed e-mails with major nidal hasan, though their communicates are not believed to be about that attack itself. and linked to two 9/11 hijackers. u.s. citizens have been killed in previous strikes, but a former bush top official told the times he knew of no instance when mr. bush specifically approved a u.s. citizen targeted for killing. all this coming as reports that obama will drop reports of islamic radicalism as part of an effort to avoid alienating muslim countries but after in the aftermath of leaked video some viewers might find disturbing as u.s. forces killing what they thought were terrorists in 2007 in iraq but
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were in fact journalists for the reuters news service. a spokesman says that it does not dispute the authenticity but may not be able to find the official product to determine it. military officials saying this case is closed. the other is not. let's bring in former cia special agent jack rice. thanks for your time tonight. >> great to be with you, keith. >> we missed iraq's wmd, we missed the warning signs at ft. hood, we missed abdul mutallab, we're sure enough about anwar al
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awlaki for the president to say put a gun to his head and kill him? >> that's pretty much it. we also missed the fall of the berlin wall, we missed the fall of the shau in iran. what we get are a lot of people saying oh, yeah, we absolutely know. but if we look back over the last 20 or 30 years, we have heard that again and again and again, what we know and what we don't know. but the problem is we end up finding out later it was nowhere near the truth. >> what kind of intelligence would we have to have on al awlaki and how confident would we have to be in that intelligence? >> in my mind, because this is an american citizen, we need to think of it like one of our family members. we need to think of it like one of our neighbors down the street. this is an american. you don't allow the u.s. government to unilaterally say, we're not just going to kill somebody if they're an american who happens to be near it, this is literally targeting the american specifically and killing them. this cannot be done in this way. this is truly an extraordinary shift. it really highlights, by the way, that this isn't just a left or right republican versus democratic problem, this is something else altogether. >> now, it's different, is it not, to say this than to say, we try to capture him in some way
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and it doesn't go right and he resists, we corner him and tried to escape, he's shot. those could be dicey circumstances but those things have happened before. that's separate from this, correct? >> of course. absolutely. because then what you're talking about is in the midst of the battle itself. and again, if there's an american who happens to be there, then all of a sudden you can say, well, it was either a mistake at the time but we didn't realize, or of course you're fighting them. what we understand now is this is the ability to target this man wherever he is. if he's sitting at dinner, all of a sudden you can say, that's the guy. let's go whack him now. really? that's the standard we're setting for an american? >> let's push the precedent here that would be set to its extreme. what is to stop a future administration from using that magic word, terrorism, to order that other american citizens should be killed for criticizing the government?
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>> well, i think that's the biggest question of all here. because what we have to do is think very big picture. whether you trust this government, this president, the last one or the next one. the problem is, we have already seen from the bush administration their willingness to use the term terror and terrorism to justify warrantless wiretaps, torture, guantanamo, and so many other thing that's were unconstitutional. now you look at this and say, well, if we just slap terrorism on it we can ignore 200 years of jurisprudence. >> then assuming al awlaki is guilty and is actively trying to kill americans, not just advocating that, but actually involved, is this not exactly what the obama administration should be doing? >> absolutely. again, assume is really the effective word here. we have to be able to make that call. we're not talking about wrapping him in a warm blanket and rocking him like a young child, we're talking about knowing what we're doing and ensuring that when we make a decision it's the right one. and that's what you and i are discussing right now.
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>> jack rice, former special agent with cia, great thanks for your time tonight. thank you. >> thank you, keith. for the politics of this, let's turn to richard wolffe, also of course the author of "renegade, the making of a president." good evening. >> good evening, keith. >> if you look at the news today, basically it seems nobody is sweating what should at least look like a tough ethical, legal and national call. is that a correct assessment? >> pretty much, in the traditional media i think that's right. online we've seen commentary from the right broadly positive, maybe some criticism from libertarians on the left. you know those people who are concerned with this thing called the constitution seem to be sweating it. but in terms of the newspapers, it is perplexing. you know, i come back to hearing criticism from the bush officials, it may be weird for them to hearmy citing it on this show, but they may say, if it was warrantless wiretapping and that led to several pages of covering day after day, how come this kind of thing doesn't get the same coverage? two answers.
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one maybe people thought when dennis blair said something on capitol hill in january that made it old news. but this is a much more specific report, and it's at least worthy of debate in the news pages. >> where does this rank on that scale of events when we talk about illegally detaining and torturing people, as compared to simply announcing that we have the right, the president has the right, as was earlier stated, but here's an example, that the president has the right to have somebody shot out of this world. >> well, look. i think the administration, and they haven't made this argument explicitly, but they seem to have a carve-out for what goes on on foreign territory. it may be a practical argument, they may say this is broadly defined as the battle field and the president has these executive powers. but that's, frankly, an argument the bush administration would make. it seems that the politics of this has moved to such a point that the administration has taken on a very aggressive, robust, capture, kill, what you and i would call assassination program without a whole lot of public debate. they are internally inside the white house very proud of this program. not just in the arabian
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peninsula, but also in afghanistan and pakistan. but again this has happened without much debate. >> a version for you of a question i asked jack rice. where are the safeguards about only opening pandora's box under these specific circumstances? in other words, if you say, all right, we're going to let this one go, because obviously we can assume all these other fatal word that's have led us down the prim rose path before, what keep it's to even these circumstances in the future? >> we don't know what the procedures are. we don't know what the checks and balances are. and given rules of war that the administration and the last administration claim for themselves, they may not need to be. the question is whether american citizens can claim something differently if they're on a foreign battlefield. but we don't know what the
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checks and balances may be. at least when it came to warrantless wiretapping, when candidate obama shifted his positions, he said there needed to be some minimal oversight of the courts, as far as we can tell there is no minimal oversight from anyone when it comes to this program. >> well, that's another point. the candidate said detaining u.s. citizens without due process was unconstitutional, the president says under these specific circumstances or any circumstances i guess, that his thought process of which is okay and not okay is irrelevant. he says under certain circumstances it's okay. were there nuances to his opinion, or is this a change? >> that's a change.
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it's a change, and i think he sees the weight, feels the wathd of the national security concerns, the intelligence coming in. he trusts his national security officials, especially john brennan, who is really leading this program inside the white house. but, as a candidate, there were uncharacteristically no nuances there. it was just wrong, and he was speaking very much to someone who taught constitutional law. >> any other way to the decision on nukes and the -- going to the meeting with medvedev tomorrow, is there some attempt to balance the soft image and the tough image? >> you know, i don't think there's a tradeoff with a nuclear program, concessions, advances there. the tradeoffs are within those nuclear developments themselves. for instance, in cutting the number of nuclear missiles, there's actually significant investment in upgrading the nuclear stockpile. so the tradeoffs are all inside the nuclear deal. i don't think it's one or the
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other. >> richard wolffe, of msnbc, author of "renegade." as always, great thanks. a california man is picked up from the fbi for makes dozens of threatening phone calls to nancy pelosi. a would-be tea party congressman tells supporters to make the incumbent, quote, scared to come out of his house. and from west virnl, before the zat at montcoal, the miners were worried about excess levels of methane gas. celebrating the confederacy in virginia, how could the governor leave out all mention of slavery, because he said slavery was not a significant issue. the hasty apology came late this afternoon. has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, more than sixty thousand people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers. so, at national, i go right past the counter... and you get to choose any car in the aisle. choose any car? you cannot be serious! okay. seriously, you choose. go national. go like a pro.
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mitt romney a socialist? ronald reagan a leftist dreamer? rupert murdoch jumps the shark. and the west virginia warnings, the miners were worried that methane levels were far too high before the explosion. and three months ago, inspectors found the fresh air relief systems were operating backwards, blowing out breathable air from the mine. federal officials saying late this afternoon it is still too dangerous to send rescue crews back into a west virginia coal mine to search for four miners after an explosion killed 25 others already discovered. three workers complained to their congressman they were worried about unsafe working conditions before the explosion. three months ago, the mine that exploded was cited for having fresh air systems flowing the wrong way near two escape routes.
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federal officials saying late this afternoon it is still too dangerous to send rescue crews back into a west virginia coal mine to search for four miners after an explosion killed 25 others already discovered. three workers complained to their congressman they were worried about unsafe working conditions before the explosion. three months ago, the mine that exploded was cited for having fresh air systems flowing the wrong way near two escape routes. the problem was supposedly fixed the same day. the families of the missing minors today clinging to what the governor is calling a sliver of hope that they are still alive. congressman nick rahall have said miners have told them they
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were worried about unsafe methane levels at the mine. massey had millions of fines in the past few years, including the wrong-way air flow issue three months ago. the foreman saying he knew about the situation for three weeks. ceo don blankenship in a memo saying to place production ahead of safety, quoting, if any of you have been asked to do anything other than run coal, i.e. build overcast, construction jobs, ignore them and run coal. this memo is necessary only because we seem to not understand that coal pays the bills. what kind of construction jobs would need to be done deep within a coal mine? the kind that make it possible to funnel air directly to and from the parts currently being excavated, to circulate out the dangerous levels of methane and dust. a giant fan into a massive hole indiscriminately without a vent, and what good is that likely to do? a week later, having issued a second memo, quoting, i would
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question the membership of anyone who thought that i consider safety to be a secondary responsibility. if you have construction jobs at your mine that need to be done to keep it safe or productive, make every effort to do those jobs. without taking members from the coal producing sections that pay the bills. let's call in ellen smith who's been covering the mining industry since 1987. thank you for your time tonight. >> good evening, keith. >> those memos from the ceo, mr. blankenship, were introduced in a wrongful death trial. are they as damning as they appear to be? >> i don't think there's any mitigaing factors. they were pretty damning. that led to the settlement of the wrongful death suit. i think without that memo the families would not have settled the case.
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>> what are the implications based on that news this afternoon about the citation three months ago about the wrong-way air flow at the vents near the escape routes? >> that's incredibly serious. i mean, first of all, there's going to be probably charges brought against that fore manor supervisor who claimed he knew about that for three weeks. they can do that under section 1-10-c of the mine act. it's personal responsibility. there certainly could be criminal charges filed. it's a flagrant violation. it's high negligence. it's reckless disregard. they knew it. that air in that escapeway should be fresh air, breathable, fresh air and not contaminated with coal dust or methane. >> is there any reason to believe that that problem may have recurred after three months ago? >> look. they were having serious ventilation problems at that mine.
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imminent danger orders were issued. you know, what we found is -- and we don't know why, but an imminent danger order was issued on 12/14/09. it wasn't terminated until february 2nd. we can't get details from them, i'm sure, right now. they're busy doing the rescue. the press people are overwhelmed. but something was going terribly wrong with this mine. there were withdraw orders because of the ventilation problems. they had to take minors out of the mine or out of sections to fix the problems. there is no doubt that ventilation problems were plaguing this mine. >> that raises the simple question, why wasn't it shut down, plain and simple? >> well, and that's a good question. under the 1977 mine act, msha has the power to withdraw miners from a section if it's dangerous in that section. they have the power to withdraw the miners if they feel there's a problem in the entire mine. so after the miners leave, the operator has the chance to fix that problem.
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as soon as that problem is fixed, the minors can go back in the mine and start producing coal again. now, it's not the end of the citation line, that case is still going to have to go before an alj and the federal mine safety and review commission. but, you know, msha has to give a window of opportunity to correct that problem, and they correct it, and they can go back to work. now, what people have started talking about was why was this mine not under what we call a pattern of violations, which actually does make it easier for msha to shut down production and say, correct these problems. and in fact, in december 2007, that mine had received what we call a potential pattern notice. so it was given a warning that it was about to go under a pattern of violations, but not for ventilation, for something different. and it cleaned up its act. and you know, what happened last
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year, i don't know. i mean, the amount of citations and the amount of orders last year, the withdraw orders, is really unbelievable. >> ellen smith, owner and publisher of "mine safety and health news" i think we know much more about this than four minutes ago and we thank you greatly for contributing to that. >> thank you. rupert murdoch insists the other networks are democratic or tend to be, and "the new york times" carries obama's water. but his news is fair. when pressed to identify one democratic on fox, it takes him a full minute to suggest greta van susteren might be close to the democrats. top safety pic. we call it peace of mind. the 5-star crash safety rated chevy malibu. mayo's always saying how real it is. we agree. it's real... boring. ♪
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reinstituting confederacy month in virginia without mentioning that sticky detail called slavery for a week. first on this date in 1860, w.k. kellogg was born. he and his brother john believed in the value of vegetarianism and especially of fiber. they developed the process for making flaked cereal. dismissed by many as a crank, mr. kellogg made $11 billion, so he did something right. let's play "oddball." he had 44 billion box tops at the end. we begin in taiwan. that contestant's name is lynn yu chun. he hasn't hit puberty yet or he's 24 years old, either way he's about to go full boyle on you and blow you're freakin' mind. ♪ if i should stay, i would
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only, only be in your way ♪ ♪ and i will always love you, i will always love you ♪ ♪ i -- >> reached for comment, whitney houston released the following statement. >> kiss my ass. to california, while the
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japanese may think they have the market corners on robots, clearly they have not met this, the ancestor of rosie jetson. uc berkeley created a robot that can fold laundry. until you get too excited about the end of household chores, this video was sped up by a factor of 50. it takes this robot 25 minutes to fold a single towel. which is a slight improvement over the robot's previous achievement, which was two days to round up all the unmatched socks. in the wake of the arrest of one man for threatening the life of senator murray you might think even tea party candidates might be a little more circumspect with their speech for the week. you'd be wrong. one tells supporters to make their incumbent, quote, scared to come out of his house. boss: come a long way, that's for sure.
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148 years to the day the battle of shiloh ended in tennessee. the battle of confederate history month lives on in virginia. the govern of that state imemployed slavery was not a significant issue in the civil war, nor its commemoration. now in our third story, the governor has apologized after an eight-year hiatus, mr. mcdonnell of virginia reinstituted confederate history month. nowhere in the posting was slavery even mentioned. earlier today mcdonnell said his proclamation which by which implication celebrates treasonous violence was designed to promote tourism. as for leaving slavery out of a seven-paragraph proclamation, he said, quote, there were any number of aspects between that conflict between the states. obviously it involved slavery and other issues, but i focused on the ones i thought were most significant for virginia. the proclamation had been condemned by the naacp, black caucus and democratic party of virginia. hours ago he offered an apology, saying in part, designating april contained a major
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omission, the failure to include any reference residence to slavery was a mistake and i apologize to any fellow virginian. the governor added similar language to his original proclamation, just as the last republican of virginia james gilmore had done. i'm proud to be joined by julian bond. thanks for your time tonight, sir. >> thanks for having me. >> does that apology suffice in your opinion? >> yes, but it reminds you that the fourth republican governor in a row in virginia, and they seem to have a canine affection, the fourth in a row has issued a proclamation honoring treason us insurrection against the government of the united states, actions which all over the world would be called treason. yet somehow in the united states we value them as virtue, as honor, and celebrate them every year, build monuments to them,
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and seem to ignore that vast number of other americans, both people of color and white people, who are offended by this and who want it to stop and who think it should have stopped a long, long time ago. >> is there a way to do it, to commemorate it in which it becomes a value nationally. >> of course. >> what would that be in your opinion is this. >> why not have a commemoration of civil war month, in which you talk about the valor, the honor of soldiers on both sides of the army? surely the union soldiers were just as cure ageous and valorable as those who fought for the other side. surely they loved their families and homes and defended with the same compassion and interest,
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but somehow or another, this blind allegiance to one side -- in fact, to the losing side -- to the only side bearing a flag, which fought the united states and was defeated by which is on display all over the united states. we don't see japanese flags, german flags or other flags of nations we've fought and beat displayed around on the backs of trucks, on bumper stickers, but we see this flag, the battle flag of the confederacy, and, as i say, the naacp, and i think many, many others, think it is time it stopped. >> it was shelby foote, saying in the movie, americans never lost a water, patton's father served on the confederate side in the civil war, the whole thing seems to have been marketed. is that a fair word to describe what happened? the civil war and the idea of the confederacy and even the idea of slavery has been marketed by the south as positive? >> there's been so much
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commentary about this today, i don't know if i'm quoting myself or somebody i've heard today, but it's the "gone with the wind" effect, that movie, which is a great movie as movies go, but terrible, terrible history, just shows the south as the victims of the war, when in fact the south began the war. they started the war. it wasn't the union, it was the south. and now all these many years later, we're still celebrating the south, and praising them for losing this, what to them was a noble cause. >> governor mcdonnell missed this out of the original proclamation and stuck his foot back in his mouth with the explanation that he focused on the issues he thought were most significant for virginia, thus by saying slavery was not an important issue for virginia, and now he corrects it a week into the equation. do you think this has any context? has this been effected by the political state of the country at the moment? >> virginia voted for obama in the last election, i guess it's still an issue. the governor did the right thing
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in apologizing and saying what he should have said in the first place. the real problem is he shouldn't have issued the proclamation in the first place. if you wanted to honor the confederate dead and their valor, you should have done the same for those on the union side. both of them were brave men who fought long and hard, who suffered and sacrificed. make this a history lesson for everybody, not just praising one side. >> well said, julian bond of the naacp, chairman emeritus, great thanks for your time. >> thank you. 24 hours after rupert murdoch says fox news should not be supporting the tea party, two members are supporting are the tea party. did you know from 1981-1989 ronald reagan was a leftist dreamer? so implies rudy giuliani in worst persons. and senator coburn wants to be fiscally discipline.
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worst persons in a moment. not only is mitt romney a socialist, but apparently as president, ronald reagan was a leftist dreamer. the right wing eats its own. the hutaree have been arrested in michigan. yesterday authorities announced they'd taken into custody a man, after making countless threats against the senator, today the fbi arrested another man for making dozens of threatening phone calls to speaker of the house, nancy pelosi. but last night a candidate for a congressional seat in florida said this about a democratic incumbent to the tea party crowd. >> let me tell you what you've got to do. you've got to make the fellow scared to come out of his house. that's the only way you're going to get these people to pay attention. you've got to put pressure on them. >> that's alan west talking about congressman ron cline.
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we've met mr. west before, he claims the al jazeera offered to send a car to his home for an interview was actually tries to kidnap him. he left the u.s. military in shame after he supervised the torture of and fired a gun near the head of an iraqi policeman in custody. obviously from any point, west's incitement to violence is unacceptable and he has underscored why he and people who endorsed him like sarah palin have forfeited their rights to serve in federal government. they are not dedicated to democracy, they are believers in mob rule. the larger question is why are the bullies and delusionals and violent fantacized crawling out of the woodwork now? it is possible this is the residue of the first decade of this century, the violence, paranoia, phony war under the mantra of you're with us or against us. in some respects this plague has descended upon us because we took no steps to say the answer,
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internationally or here at home, cannot just be the fundamentals of torture, violence and fear of violence. we prosecuted no one in real authority, and so an alan west was not held up of what this country stands against when he threatened to kill a policeman in iraq, instead he is encouraged to run for office and to threaten a congressman in florida. national car rental? that's my choice. because with national, i roll past the counter... and choose any car in the aisle. choosing your own car? now that's a good call. go national. go like a pro. that's right, 97%. which means you can talk, text, email or go online from almost anywhere. so whether you're in portland, oregon, or portland, maine... washington, d.c., or seattle, washington, or somewhere in between, at&t has the coverage you need.
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hopefully that sheds a little light on the subject. ♪ thank you, pothole tarmac. thank you, saltwater spray-tunnel and shaker machine. thank you to all the 5,000 tests that helped make the nissan altima better for everyone who drives it. the nissan altima. made to make your life better. and highest ranked in initial quality by j.d. power and associates. now lease a new altima for $199 a month for 39 months. ♪ rupert murdoch, membershiper of opinion, builder up of nations or just laugh out loud funny? he says the people at msnbc and cnn tend to be democrats but those at fox noise are not republicans. and sean hannity and sarah
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palin go to support michele bachmann, fox says should not be supporting the tea party. the bronze to david fred fredoso. this is embarrassing. he writes today, where are the black tea partiers? they're here, hated and trashed by liberals. keith olbermann has famously asked where the black tea partiers are. the associated press writes that they are out there. they are afraid to participate, too. it identifies five. five. and one of them is a former fox news commentator. mr. frodoso. five? i'm embarrassed on your behalf now. speaker of which, beck played a clip noting that some parts of health care were plagiarized by then-governor mitt romney. don't worry, beck has used his superior mind to wriggle his way out of this one. that's why i said when mitt
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romney was running for president, i don't want anyone who even flirts with socialism. it seems to me you can't disprove your socialism with someone else's socialism. can you? mitt romney is a socialist. here's the great comfort that glenn beck provides. he has so little idea what he's saying and he has no idea what he said previously, that given enough time he will eventually denounce everybody. even people who do not yet know he's full of it. and speaking of that, our winner, former new york city mayor, rudy giuliani. bull says rudy, a nuclear-free world has been a 60-year dream of the left. just like social itzed health care. here's something that proves his point. nuclear weapons are, another politician said, quote, totally
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irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization. we must never stop at all until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of the earth for the eight years i was president, i never let my dream of a nuclear free world fade from my mind. those of course the words of ronald reagan. so ronald reagan was a liberal, rudy? a dreamer? leftist? it is fair to say, i think trk is now impossible to remember a time when people took rudolph giuliani seriously. rudy, president reagan was a leftist dreamer, said giuliani, today's worst person in the world. somewhere in america... there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again.
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somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, more than sixty thousand people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers. ♪ three decadent flavors. 60 calories. it's me o'clock. time for jell-o.
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rupert murdoch has been called many names in many countries and lord knows i called them most of them. until tonight, stupid was not one of them. number one story this morning, in public, on audio tape, he insists to meet with democrats. couldn't find one nonrepublican on fox news and said fox news shouldn't be supporting the tea party. not only was fox news sarah palin in an event where she openly supported the tea party, sean hannity was quoted bybackman in the event and hannity was covering it. is rupert murdoch now or has he ever been stupid? last night on the campus of george washington university, he was the guest on the kalb report
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hoe hosted by william kalb. >> i knew we had democrats and republicans and libertarians, whatever. >> and the other networks -- oh. >> they tend to be democrats. >> they tend to be democrats. come on, let's been honest about it. >> it's a bad thing to be a democrat. >> no, but we're not republicans. >> no, you're not a republican. >> no. >> you're a conservative. no? >> rupert murdoch, radical, don't tell glenn beck. according to murdoch, fox is not republican. surely this question should be a can of corn. >> you meng there had are democrats as well as republicans on fox news. i wondered if you meant democrats employed by fox news, and if so, who would that be?
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>> i wish i could tell you but n they're there. if roger were here, he'd spit them out quickly. greta van us is trend is close to the democratic party. she's a great journalist that goes after any story that she can get. people involved in democratic politics and so on yeah, we have people. trying to think of the lady in california who's been with us since day one who we use a lot. up? endley lohan? going for susanest ridge, the democrat. smoking gun evidence this was not screened, media matters
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asked rupert murdoch's support of the tea party. >> davids apen told viewers they needed to visit the tea party website to buy merchandise and your network had a graphic saying fox tea parties. is it appropriate for a network to engage that much in the politics. >> we shouldn't be supporting the tea party or any other party. but i'd like to investigate what you're saying before i condemn anyone. >> not going to be a long nth gagts. fox news has been a corporate partner on the grassroots tea party movement. if mr. murdoch needs more recent proof, how about this afternoon in a rally in minnesota with fox news analyst and special host sarah palin stumping for michellebackman. >> backstage, michelle and i were talking about the tea party movement. we were catching up a little bit.
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i was wondering, do we have tea party americans here today? >> after the big rally. both women sat down with sean hannity -- where does he work? nbc news, telemundo. no! no, fox news. i'm sure he grilled them on a host of issues. jonathan weigel covers it conservative movement and the republican party. thanks for your time. >> oh thanks for having me. >> rupert murdoch says they shouldn't support any party. it's too bad they don't have any say. i work for this man, hired by this man, but not until today i considerrd the possibility i owned fush chown ed furniture as smart as he did. >> he didn't care, he didn't need to be there.
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rupert murdoch is laughing all the way to the bank. he's got the biggest stars on the network's payroll. what does he mind if someone shoots him on video acting like a full. >> this is the driving factor in his life. there's -- obviously impulse is important, but when he looks foolish, other people can fire. who does he fire? >> i don't think he fires anybody. it's a good thing they don't have a democrat on staff to get rid of. they might be in trouble. this is the kind of thing when fox gets a little bit of negative trouble like this, if they respond, they usually respond -- last week, sarah palin was criticized for saying l.l. cool j. was going to be on sarah palin's show. and at the end of the year, they hope l.l. cool j. will continue
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with his acting career. they don't mind this kind of flak. >> we wish them well anonymous well wishes. they could bous alan coombs over another notch to voice overannouncer or something. >> he's been doing well. >> a lot of these tea party rallies. what's the view of the fox news channel? is it a televised version of the revealed word? >> that's not unfair. fox news is the only media network outlet everyone trusts. some say they read national news, worldnet daily but it's the one that get signs waying across saying thank you, fox news or thank you, glenn beck. that was a pretty good question. he dodged it or slept through it or whatever he did. it was a good question.
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what responsibility does fox news have for promoting the tea party. this is where the conservative actist gets his information in the first place. >> in that context, sarah bay lynn and joe barton -- the tea party headliners. rank the rally today. first off, proving they were the same person. one would wear the glasses, take the glasses off and be michelle batchman. where is this ranking in the teaparty history? >> feels "heat" anddy nero and cap trena were not so well. you're right. the politics were mirror images of each other. they back slap each other across the internet. the more interesting thing about the rally is palin giving political speeches sort of says the same think. -- thing.
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tim pohlen is there. he's trying to find some space in the republican race if sarah palin doesn't enter it as the conservative you can trust. this is a guy throughout pretty well as a moderate republican and he links arm in arm with sarah palin and michelle batchman. this is another -- this is -- now that palin is back in politics, now that bob pickman was the next five or six minutes. you see a republican willing to aboard this train. >> len pulling me over to the right as far as he could. some people have done that to their regret. see how that plays out. great thanks. >> thank you. >> that's "countdown." john hodgeren will join me here for a special announcement in which i concede defeat.
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details in the interim. i'm keith olbermann, good night and good luck.
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